You’ve probably heard the quote by French Jesuit priest, philosopher and paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin:
“You are not a human being in search of a spiritual experience. You are a spiritual being immersed in a human experience.”
Does this quote ring true to you? Whether you’re just beginning your journey on the yogic path, or if you’ve been practicing for years, you probably intuitively know in your heart that you are at the very core of your being, a Spirit or Soul. You are not simply flesh and blood. You are so much more.
Mystics and spiritual seekers throughout the ages have known this for millennia. We can thank them for paving the way for us so that we can continue the journey in this modern society of ours, which, let’s face it, doesn’t exactly make it easy for us to immerse ourselves in our spiritual nature.
Who Am I?
Who am I? Why am I here? Is there more to this life? (Read more in Who Am I?)
If these questions make their way into your consciousness from time to time, whether it’s every once in awhile or daily, you probably know that you're a spiritual being. For me, I know in my heart that there’s more than just this one life. I understand that what we do in this lifetime and how we treat people has a direct effect on what happens in the future, as well as in future lifetimes. (Read on in What is Karma and Destiny?)
This belief is at the core of Buddhist teachings and also at the heart of yoga. We are profoundly beautiful, eternal souls that are having a human experience on planet Earth in order to evolve and grow. Another deeply profound quote by beloved spiritual teacher and master Deepak Chopra illustrates this concept beautifully:
“We are travelers on a cosmic journey, stardust, swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment. It is a little parenthesis in eternity.”
How beautiful is this notion of being on an endless cosmic journey? When we tap into this idea and feel into this essence, we feel free and expansive. We become more lighthearted and full of light. (More in 5 Things You Learn Hanging Out With Deepak Chopra.)
Our experiences on this human plane become richer and more full of love. The path of spirit is endlessly unfolding. It’s forever propelling us deeper into the experience of what it means to be human.
This "little parenthesis in eternity" is a gift. It’s our time to live in the most soulful and unconditionally loving way we possibly can. When we start to see this life as an opportunity to come into connection with our spiritual nature, our experiences become filled with meaning. Our actions become more considerate of others, and we learn to do more good than harm.
Yoga for Spirituality
Practicing yoga is one of the best ways to get in touch with our spiritual side. It helps us merge our body, our breath, and our spirit. When we learn about yoga philosophy and read inspiring yogic literature in conjunction with the physical asana practice, we become increasingly more connected to this spiritual side of ours.
Meditation for Spirituality
Another way to get in touch with our spiritual nature is through the art of meditation. Meditation practice is one of the few times we get to be silent. We get to slow our mind and see our thoughts for what they are, just thoughts. Certain meditation practices, as well as various yoga practices, help us drop out of our head and into our heart. (Learn about Heart Intelligence.)
As humans, we believe the stories our mind tells us. In doing so, we often ignore the call of our heart. That’s why it’s so important to have a regular meditation practice. If nothing else, set aside ten minutes of quiet time each day. When the weather permits, get outside and take a walk. Sit on the beach and watch a sunset. Anytime you get outside of yourself and into nature, you’ll find your spiritual side is set free. (Read more in Joys of Unplugging.)
So, yes---you are a spiritual being. Your spirit is sometimes covered up by layers and layers of fear. Yoga helps us strip down the nonsense, until we become more and more in touch with our higher Self, our true nature, that of Spirit. (Read more in The Seeker.)